Taxi rides from Rīga airport will have fare caps

To prevent passengers from being defrauded with disproportionately high fares, a maximum fare for a taxi journey from an airport or other transport infrastructure of international importance will be set and pre-payment options will be introduced, the Saeima decided on Wednesday, March 27.

Skaidrīte Ābrama (Progresīvie), head of the Saeima Commission for National Economy, Agrarian, Environmental, and Regional Policy, said in an earlier statement that the commission had drafted the amendments

"to prevent the chaos associated with taxi services at Riga Airport, where a trip to Old Town was often close to the price of an airline ticket".

The amendments to the law will set a maximum fare for a taxi ride from the airport to certain zones yet to be determined, and introduce a pre-paid option. 

The maximum fare will apply to any taxi operating from the airport.

The fare caps and zones of operation, as well as the maximum additional charge per journey, will be set by the Cabinet of Ministers.

It is planned that passengers will be able to pre-pay online or in person at the airport. In order to work in the special zone at the airport, the taxi will have to provide the customer with the possibility to pay with a pre-purchased travel voucher.

The Ministry of Transport also pointed out that the amendments would give the airport more control over taxis on its territory. For example, whether the ban on advertising the use of taxi services on airport premises is being breached. The amendments also provide for increased cooperation between the responsible services of the municipalities to ensure control.

Shady business with taxi drivers scamming and overcharging tourists has been known to take place for years. A similar idea of setting a fixed fare was already on the table in 2019 but never got implemented.

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